12 November 1967

parade controversy

The Remembrance Day ceremony of Sunday 12 November 1967 was the scene of the biggest controversies in the history of British broadcasting. The BBC received 8,743 complaints – the highest number in the history of the Corporation – after Michael Treves reported from Whitehall while holding a microphone with no poppy attached. Treves, who had served in the Royal Navy during the war, was mortified by the criticism, which was later shown to be wholly unjustified. (An internal inquiry established that the poppy had fallen off the microphone seconds before he went on air.) In his autobiography, A Correspondent’s Cause, he explained that because the poppy on his lapel had not been in shot, it appeared that he had worn no poppy at all. All the cameramen wore poppies, as did their cameras.

Representatives of Her Majesty's Government and Opposition, correctly attired
Picture: PA

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